Last week I was just humming along. Doing my thing – at about 100mph. You know how it goes – some weeks the balance is there of life, children, home, husband, work, church – all the demands harmonize. And then there are other weeks – like last week for me.
I thought I was doing pretty good….but my body thought differently. One thing I learned in my stress management coaching, as well as from my own experience, is that your body will only take stress and non-rest for so long. Once it has reached its capacity, it has no choice but to shut you down – physically. Our bodies weren’t made to maintain the pace we all seem to think we can go out.
So last week was an anticipated day up in Virginia to run some errands, have a few appointments and just have a day for me. But like I often do, I tried to cram too much into too short of a time and, regretfully so, didn’t eat for several hours. That combination led to a headache that torpedoed into a migraine in 15 minutes. I was a woman on a simple mission of “you must eat so the headache will cease” and in the time it took me to order my food and then sit to begin eating, I knew this wouldn’t end well as the pounding began and the nausea crept in.
The drive home from my trek to Virginia was about 90 minutes. My friends, that was a very long 90 minutes. I began the trek with the windows down to cool my face off, the heat on high to keep my feet and body warm, and all of my focus on the road. If I veered my eyes to read a sign or look at a house—the pounding got worse. My drive began with a simple text to my husband saying “don’t call. coming home. pray i’ll get home before I hurl.” About 30 minutes later, all I could think of was ‘oh man, I can’t hurl when I’m driving over the bridge (the area we live in is surrounded by water).’
I’ll spare you all of the details, but rest assured that I stopped twice and felt much better – for about 5 minutes. I did make it home and went straight to my bed, under the covers (after taking some medicine from my loving husband who met me at home). All movement, all thinking, all plans, all work, all excuses stopped at that moment. There was nothing more important than resetting myself. And, it was okay.
You see, that is what gets me every single time this happens and I have to ‘reset’ myself. I ask “why didn’t I feel Iike I could stop BEFORE it got this bad and just take a break?” I rabbit trail down that road and think of those in my life who are battling a sickness and how no one questions their recovery or the loyalty of family to the one in distress. No one asks why they are missing work or reprioritizing. But, why, if they asked for time off to spend with their family, or their excuse for not helping out with this or that was “I wanted to spend time with my spouse/children/family,” do we somehow think that isn’t a valid excuse?
I don’t know about you, but I am a big believer in investing in relationships. I want to invest in those around me – the ones the Lord places in my life. They aren’t there by accident and by this time in my life, I know that they won’t be there forever. I don’t want to live with a regret of “Oh, I should have gone to lunch with them more often” or “I wish I knew they were hurting – I guess I should have returned their phone call.” I want to be present, fully present, with all those around me. And, in order to do that, sometimes I might just need to take a break. I might need to rest my mind, soul, and body in order to be at 100% and ready for those around me. Maybe this time I’ll get it because I sure don’t want the “adventure” of getting home from Virginia to happen again anytime soon.